Getting back into the dating scene post-divorce can be a stressful experience when children are involved. When do you introduce them to the kids? How involved are the children with finding someone? What if the kids don’t like your new partner? These are just a few of the questions that are likely to come up, and there is not a one-size-fits-all solution. These questions can be daunting and may even paralyze you from dating again.
Sandy Weiner is the founder of Last First Date and is a renowned TEDx speaker, dating and relationship coach, author, and podcast host. In this episode of Divorce & Other Things You Can Handle, we discuss the ins and outs of dating post-divorce while having children. There can be several factors at play and it’s easy to feel overwhelmed, so we are going to break down some of the concerns we hear most often!
Taking time after divorce to allow for healing may be necessary for both yourself and your children. Processing the divorce can take time, and it’s important that it isn’t rushed before getting back into the dating scene. During this time you can certainly put yourself out there with friends and have fun, but you should think seriously before getting back into the dating scene.
It’s crucial to prepare your children for the introduction of a new boyfriend/girlfriend prior to actually introducing them. Most importantly you should address what fears your children may have. Creating a safe space for discussion and allowing the freedom to be vulnerable will allow kids to feel comfortable expressing their fears or concerns. Laying clear boundaries and expectations for what the future may look like as you go out on dates will be very helpful. The key is balancing your children’s concerns and your desire to date to make sure you both feel understood and content.
You can use dating as an opportunity to model what healthy dating can look like for your children. Specifically when it comes to breaking up, it’s very important to clearly explain why it didn’t work out. Explaining that not every relationship is meant to last a lifetime allows your children to approach dating with less pressure. Identifying red flags with your kids can be a helpful practice when discussing why a relationship didn’t work out. Like with most things, don’t try to compete with your ex or compare your experiences, rather focus on your approach and decisions you can control.
Dating is usually a private thing. Depending on the age of your children, you may or may not want to include them in your search for a partner. Involving your children can add unnecessary stress if the relationship does not work out. In all aspects of dating, it’s important to identify your principles and priorities to help navigate difficult conversations and situations that may come up. Consulting with a professional dating expert can be helpful if you find yourself unsure of how to start.
Remember that each person and situation is different, so there is not a one size fits all approach that will work for everyone. Once you decide to introduce your children to your boyfriend/girlfriend, make sure you have laid out expectations with both your children and partner separately. Keep an open mind when it comes to potential conflicts that may arise from both parties meeting each other. If there are concerns, listen to what they are and try to identify the root of the problem; does it have to do with the actual person or does it speak to a deeper insecurity or fear?
Sandy will help you identify areas for growth in your love life. Part of that process includes generating a list of “Must Haves” and “Deal Breakers” for what you are looking for in a partner. She will work closely with you and help with getting online, and debrief after dates to discuss how they went.
Sandy offers a free quiz for you to learn what your communication archetype is. Knowing this can be extremely helpful for handling difficult conversations.
Communication Archetype Quiz
Sandy Weiner is the Chief Love Officer at Last First Date. She’s an internationally known TEDx speaker, dating and relationship coach, author, and podcast host. Her approach to coaching is holistic, encompassing a hybrid mix of life coaching, Neurolinguistic Programming, and Non-Violent Communication.
She’s the author of “Becoming a Woman of Value; How to Thrive in Life and Love”, and “Choice Points in Dating; Empowering Women to Make Healthier Decisions in Love”. She’s also the host of two popular podcasts, Last First Date Radio and The Woman of Value Podcast, and she believes it’s never too late to have the life and love you want!
©2011-2023 Worthy, Inc. All rights reserved.
Worthy, Inc. operates from 25 West 45th St., 2nd Floor, New York, NY 10036